Diurnal variations in the waking EEG: comparisons with sleep latencies and subjective alertness

C Lafrance, M Dumont
Journal of Sleep Research 2000, 9 (3): 243-8
Daytime measures of sleep latency and subjective alertness do not correlate with one another, suggesting that they assess different aspects of alertness. In addition, their typical diurnal variations show very different time courses. Quantitative analysis of the waking electroencephalogram (EEG) has been proposed as an objective measure of alertness, but it is not clear how it compares with other measures. In this study, the waking EEG was measured in the daytime to determine the presence of diurnal variations in the activity of standard frequency bands and to compare these variations with the temporal patterns typical of sleep propensity and subjective alertness. Alertness was evaluated in four men and 12 women, aged 19-33 y. Assessments were conducted every 2 h, from 10.00 to 24.00, in the following order: a visual analogue scale of alertness, a waking EEG recording and a sleep latency test. The waking EEG was recorded with eyes open. For each recording session, 32-60 s of artefact-free signals were selected from the C3/A2 derivation, then subjected to amplitude spectral analysis. Four EEG frequency bands showed significant diurnal variations: delta, theta, sigma and beta1. None of these variations showed a significant correlation with the temporal patterns of sleep latencies or subjective alertness. At the individual level, however, theta band activity increased when subjective alertness decreased, suggesting that the theta band can be used to monitor variations in alertness in a given individual, even at the moderate levels of sleepiness experienced during the daytime.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"